I know I am a veterinary dermatologist but I just watched a wonderful webinar from Dr. Jan Bellows (our “king” of veterinary dentistry) and wanted to pass on some information I learned.

First of all, STOP THOSE ANTLER HORNS for chewing! They are high on the list of causing tooth fractures. He prefers Yummy Combs–a dental cleaning treat that has “combs” which address both sides of the teeth unlike a chew bone which only gets one surface. They are available on Amazon.com and you can buy sizes for small to large dogs. I’ve ordered some and I’ll report back!

Secondly, regarding mouth odor–it doesn’t pay to purchase mouth rinses or products to disguise the odor. Mouth odor can signify a growth in the mouth or more commonly, a “pocket” of food lingering alongside one of the teeth. The longer that “pocket” stays there, the more bacterial growth, invasion of the periodontal ligament, then a loose, decayed tooth! So, mouth odor–see your vet to determine the cause!

And lastly, if you’re going to purchase ANY oral product for your dog or cat, be sure it has the VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council) approval. This council determines and approves the “real” products that have science behind them and actually work!

And a few words about brushing. IT MUST BE DONE DAILY TO BE EFFECTIVE! For cats, a Q-Tip can be used rubbing the tooth at the border of the gum. For dogs, a brush, NOT the rubber finger brush, should be used on the tooth up to the edge of the gum border. Dr. Bellows also likes Vetradent Dental Wipes (available on Amazon.com) used daily for dogs to wipe the individual teeth.

Good luck and happy brushing! (DO IT DAILY!)